Julia - The Roaring Twenties
Release date: not known yet
Publisher: not known yet
Review Julia's Time Adventures 1 - Sweet Sixties
A (p)review by slydos 12th March 2002
"Julia - Roaring 20s" attaches directly to its predecessor "Julia - Sweet Sixties" and is also meant as adventure game particularly for girls in the age between 10 and 16 years. Compedia, an israelian developer, concentrates on games for a young audience. "Julia - Roaring 20s" hasn't been released yet and is still looking for publishers.
In this second part of the series (present so far in the English language version) our heroine Julia, a fifteen-year old teenager from today, lands in Paris in the 20's of the last century. (In the first part Julia had been pulled over an internet page into the past.) She gets photographed on a party by the young photographer Faye and if the photo remains in the past and gets into the wrong hands, this would have naturally fatal effects for Julia, who cannot return to the present. Thus she begins to employ investigations to find the photo and to bring everything back as it was ...
Installation The installation of the game from 1 CD, developed in Macromedia Flash, runs smoothly (tested under Windows 95 and Windows ME) and takes only 3 MB on the hard disk. With the start of this point&click adventure in 1st-person-perspective you arrive at the main menu, where you can begin a new game beside the credits or call a saved game. Handling The handling does not differ from the first part: However the menu at the bottom of the screen is self-describing and you can get here information about the use of the other icons under the question mark icon and about the handling of the game. Here you can always get help of your friend by face-to-face phone, find a further option menu for note book function, save, load and quit the game, call a map (where you can also move fast from place to place) and the two inventories. The mouse control is very simple - if the possibility exists to talk to a person, the cursor changes to a hand icon and a selection menu for the text opens. If you come to a point in the conversation, in which a certain object can clarify Julia's questions, a signal resounds and the concerned inventory pulsates for a moment. Here you are called to apply the correct object. At the beginning you receive thereby automatical help from Mel. Often the persons, with whom Julia speaks, have a sore spot and are not to be about to supply further information. Then Julia uses her handbag (2nd inventory), in which she carries items from the present, e.g. a video camera or sun protect oil, which can make her vis-á-vis more generous with information. Julia collects everything that isn't nailed - you can detect such things likewise by the appearing hand icon. Puzzles Julia moves like a private eye from indication to indication, receives new information and notes through each conversation, which brings her nearer to the solution. She has to apply collected objects in the correct places, has to ask questions in the correct order. The puzzles are logical and relative easy. If you can't go on, you can ask Mel, who gives usually only standard answers however. A greater help is then Shy Ann, (an esoteric breathed on medicine student in the first part of the series - now a singer in a club), who stops Julia for the answers to questions about topics of the Twenties. When Julia answers two of these questions correct with Yes or No, she gets a hint from Shy Ann. If you are wrong with three responses, the game is over. Some of these questions are really hard, since one should be versed actually in contemporary history. For example it is asked whether Man Ray was the father of Rayman, the famous computer game. Graphics In this 2D-adventure the drawn characters and objects are placed into a real photographed background. The backgrounds were adapted to the Twenties and equipped with requisites, e.g. automobiles of the time. There are almost exclusively fixed screens, in which here and there loud honking autos drive along, to aerate the scene with a little animation. In the artist quarter there are businesses, galleries, cafès, bars and we also visit some private dwellings. All scenes are affectionately equipped with historical details of the time, which we should search by the way in every detail for indications.
While still the design of running out art nouveau is predominating, we already find the new Art Deco-style in the dwelling of a mastermind and philosopher. All characters are drawn in comic style, wear clothings of the Twenties and are easily animated with economical movements. During the dialogues they show however quite expressive gesturing, mimik and mouth- and eye-movements. There are brows lifted, lips are pursed and some people become even red when lying.Story in the first part of the story Julia tries to get the photo back, which - together with other photos - was stolen from our american photographer Faye. As soon as Julia holds the photo in hands, we can detect, why at least some people are after this photo - one can see on it, how someone steals a painting. Here the game branches out - there are two stories from now on, and depending on which object you click on the photo, pipe or glove. Both stories have the same persons and scenes, however perfectly different dialogues, inventory objects and also another guilty one with another motive in the end. From now on you can access this second action branch from the main menu. Julia moves within the artist and intellectual scene as if she would be at home, and is regarded by th others as their fellow. Beside Shy Ann, she also meets her school colleague Dylan from the present, who embodies an American tourist. Julia finds out with the help of the indications - mostly written notes or documents -, which relations exist between the characters and who does not only has a motive, but is also actually the thief of the painting. You can let the guilty ones arrested, (by clicking in the dialogue menu on the handcuff-icon) only if you held all important conversations and collected all necessary indications.
After the end sequence, you will be informed about the future of the main characters. Our helpful singer and flower friend Shy Ann will therefore play another role in the next time travelling adventure of Julia, who cannot return into the present yet. In the next game we'll see her again in London at the turn of the century, on the 31st December 1899.Summary A detective game in the Twenties of the 20th century, the time between the world wars with depression, collapse of the stock market, inflation, economic calamity and emerging fascism, while the most exciting and wildest epoch in the arts takes place. In the large cities women could try in all vocational fields. Cinema became a mass medium, medicine and technique developed rapidly. "Julia - The Roaring 20s" gives us - entertaining and informative - a small idea of this moving time. In relation to the first part of the series the puzzles in "Julia - The Roaring 20s" appeared to me however more simple and there were e.g. also no inserted logical puzzles, like in the first one. Unfortunately there are only 12 save slots again, that cannot be marked with texts. The game length (approximately 8 hours) is very short! My rating: 71%
80% - 100% excellent game, very recommendable 70% - 79% good game, recommendable 60% - 69% satisfactory, restricted recommendable 50% - 59% sufficient (not very recommendable) 40% - 49% rather deficient (not to be recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only) 0% - 39% worst (don't put your fingers on it)
Minimal System requirements:
- Windows 95/98/2000/NT 4.0 or higher
- Pentium 166 Mhz or higher
- 32 MB RAM
- Graphic card witht 24bit colors
- 16bit sound card
- 8x CDROM-drivve
- Pentium III 850
- 128 MB RAM
- Sound- and graphic cards DirectX-compatible
- Toshiba DVD-ROM
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